Celebrating Thanksgiving during a pandemic is weird. It’s more stress, more risk calculations, more staying away from people you’d normally draw close to. It feels sucky and dark and I know there’s a lot of people like me who are going to be so grateful for 2020 to be over. But as much as this year has been the worst, it’s also shown us how we humans can be a lot better when we actually try.
This year, I’m thankful for the researchers who have worked carefully and swiftly to develop extremely promising vaccine candidates. They took an impossible task and got it to the finish line in record time.
I’m thankful for the volunteers who were willing to enroll in clinical trials, and put their bodies on the line to help those researchers figure out if the vaccines worked. Their decision to participate is what makes it possible for us to figure out how safe and effective any of the vaccines are.
Thank you to the disaster and public health researchers who have screamed into the void for the past year. They’ve tried everything they could to get us important messages, shore up supply lines, and stay one step ahead of a virus that’s outpacing a nation.
Thank you to the places that have actually managed to beat back the virus for providing an example on how to really put those researchers’ words into action — to Mongolia
, Cherokee Nation
, along with all the others who have paid attention to the scientists.
Thank you to the people who have kept wearing a mask, even when it’s annoying and they’d rather not. Also, to the people who are keeping their distance from others, as painful as it may be.
Thank you to the people who are working to keep their neighbors fed, and housed, and healthy, often for paltry wages. They deserve more. So do the people who are unemployed or incarcerated or homeless during this devastating pandemic.
I’m especially thankful for you. Thank you for reading, and for joining me and Nicole
here every Saturday morning for the past few months. We’ll be taking a break next weekend, but we’ll be back on December 5.
Here’s what else happened this week.